Google Chrome

What Google calls ‘a new version of the browser’

Google spent a lot of time building an Explorer-killing web browser that they have called Chrome. Google Chrome allows users to browse, search, chat, email, and collaborate much more in one browser that is faster than any of the others I use. I use Firefox for the plugins, Opera when I want to browse because it doesn’t have the plugins and therefore it is faster, Flock, Safari and Explorer as test browsers for the sites I work on (all browsers have to work! )

I was hoping Google would buy Firefox, but it’s probably too open source for them. To compete against MS, the product must remain more under your control. Google is a fan of gadgets, so I hope there will be quite a few gadgets in the near future. Google used components from Apple’s WebKit and Mozilla’s Firefox, and this ends up being open source, but Google’s open source rather than Mozilla’s open source. It’s important to see the difference, as Google can change the core of your app and not worry about everyone from Mozilla having to buy. Smart move, I say.

New features

When you open a new tab in Chrome you have some interesting options. You have the 9 most visited sites in the main part of the window, on the right there is a search bar, a list of your recent bookmarks and a list of recently closed tabs. Pretty much the things you would need or want access to.

There’s also a little link at the bottom left that shows your full history, so you really have access to whatever you’ve been working on recently. The site history doesn’t open in a little sidebar, it opens to the full page. There is also a search function for your history. This is a great improvement over the other browsers.

There is also a full list of Chrome features, each with a 30-second video, on the Google Chrome site.

Since we spend so much time online, we started to seriously think about what kind of browser could exist if you started from scratch and built on the best elements out there. We realized that the web had evolved from primarily simple text pages to rich, interactive applications and that we needed to completely rethink the browser. What we really needed was not just a browser, but also a modern platform for web pages and applications, and that is what Google set out to build.

In theory, each tab works like a separate browser. If one tab fails, the others fail. At least this is what they say, I haven’t had a crash yet so you know it works.

Google claims that there is “greater speed and responsiveness across the board.” I find this an understatement. This is the fastest browser on the Internet today. They also say they built V8, a more powerful JavaScript engine, to power the next generation of web applications that are not even possible in today’s browsers. This seems true to me and only time will tell.

One thing i don’t like

There’s always something. I like to click download and ignore the files. In Chrome, the download appears at the bottom of your browser window, and you can then run it, drag it to your desktop, or save it to a folder. I know this sounds smarter than what I’m doing right now, but old habits hardly die.

This is just the beginning: Google Chrome is far from over. There is a beta version for Windows and they are building versions for Mac and Linux.

Google only gets better with all the tools it has created. Firefox, Opera, and IE can all stand having a powerful new browser to compete against. Maybe FF will crash less and IE will eventually become more than just a memory hog. I still use FF, but I think Opera will just sit next to Safari for testing. (IE is not in the trash yet because it comes installed on many PCs).

Google Chrome is a great option for quick browsing if you can live without all those plugins you’ve gotten used to. Recently I was just using Opera and was opening FF just to use a plugin. This may sound silly, but I work a lot faster like this. Like I said, Opera is on the way to retirement for me.

The best test of Google Chrome is to try it yourself.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *